Chester Farmer's Market - A Client Success Story
Dan King initially came to the Widener SBDC in April 2010 in search of marketing assistance for his Farmers Market. The Chester Farmers Market sells a variety of foods, ranging from hot meats such as mouth-watering chicken wings and ribs to fresh deli meats, fruits, and vegetables. The market also offers desserts including homemade pies, cookies, and cakes. Originally, Dan was established on the corner of 9th and Kerlin Streets, and his business was thriving. However, due to complaints about the smoke that his cooking procedures were producing, he was forced to move to an interior location on Welsh St. in downtown Chester. His business began declining immediately, as his former customers were all either unaware of his new location or unwilling to travel so far. Dan needed ways to increase his clientele. The SBDC coached Dan in designing brochures to advertise the market, as well as other methods that helped widen his popularity in the area. The SBDC has also assisted him in developing several marketing materials for events that Dan has held at his market, thus giving him to necessary tools to increase his customer base.
The SBDC also accompanied Dan in a meeting with Chester City representatives in order to get their feedback on ways of increasing business in the city. Likewise, with the SBDC’s aid, Dan was granted permission to sell at his previous location and reach his old, although he is still not allowed to cook there. Limited parking around the Farmers Market was also an issue, especially with the site being located on a one-way street that only runs outwards from the parking lot. The SBDC was successful in reversing St. Charles Street to lead into the parking lot behind the building, where Dan currently uses a sign to direct customers inside the market. Dan also implemented the SBDC’s recommendation of installing a rear door into the market from the parking lot to give customers easier access to the store.
The SBDC also reviewed Dan’s product prices and recognized that they were exceptionally low compared to other markets in the area. Dan adopted the SBDC’s suggestion that he raise prices to increase his profit margins, as well as many other pricing recommendations. Most recently, Dan participated in a 3-month project with the senior students of Widener University’s Management 451 class to develop a comprehensive marketing plan to help increase sales. The students provided several viable recommendations that Dan has recently implemented. Dan has recently reported that his sales have dramatically increased over the last several months, and he believes they will continue to rise as the word spreads throughout the community about his fantastic market.